New Mac Pro Woes

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by velocityg4, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #1
    I setup a new Mac Pro and it seems to be having constant problems.

    Specs
    - Model Current 2013 Mac Pro
    - 8 Core Xeon
    - 64GB RAM
    - 1TB SSD
    - AMD Fire Pro D700
    - Mac OS X High Sierra

    Problems
    - Monitors give black screen when woken from sleep. Computer is being used as a media server and remote access so it is always turned on. The screens are just set to turn off, nothing else. No screen saver. When woken the monitors turn on but stay black. If I try to login remotely the remote software just stalls and won't show a desktop.
    - When screensaver was enabled. It would just turn on and lock the computer up in the middle of using it.
    - Computer locks up frequently and gives a spinning beachball.
    - Date and time is even screwed up.

    Setup (This computer has been setup and in use for less than a week)
    - Clean install of Mac OS X High Sierra via USB using APFS Journaled file system
    - Migration assistant was not used
    - Files synced via iCloud (pictures), Google Drive and Dropbox
    - Software installed manually

    The old Mac Pro was having problems. So, to prevent any carry over I did not use Migration Assistant. Instead I opted to install all software manually and add files via sync from cloud services. This new Mac Pro is supposed to be much faster but seems much worse.

    What I've tried.
    - SMC Reset
    - PRAM Reset
    - Disabling screensaver
    - Activity Monitor (RAM usage green, no CPU or disk activity spikes)

    Software used
    - iCloud (every option checked)
    - Google Backup and Sync (just syncing Google drive no other folders)
    - Dropbox (has symlinks to desktop and music)
    - Sonos
    - Backblaze
    - Safari
    - MS Office 365
    - Google Chrome
    - Firefox
    - iTunes
    - Spotify
    - Elgato Video Capture
    - Join.me
    - Teamviewer
    - Photos
    - Wunderlist
    - Brother Control Center
    - Filevault

    Other Hardware
    - Apple Bluetooth Keyboard
    - Apple Magic Trackpad 2
    - El Gato Video capture USB
    - Anker USB 3.0 Hub
    - Harmon Kardon iSub
    - Ethernet
    - Triple Acer 2560x1440 monitors via Thunderbolt 2 to Displayport cables

    I'm looking for ideas. Could it be a software conflict, hardware issue? It makes no sense. It is a clean OS X install and clean software install. Just basic settings changes and software logged into their basic accounts. Its not as if I was messing with /Library or /System.

    I've used the High Sierra install USB on a 2009 iMac, 2011 MacBook Pro and 2017 MacBook Pro. All clean installs. They are all running fine. Although they aren't running all that third party software and hardware.

    The old Mac Pro (2008) ran all this software. It was just getting slow and would lose Ethernet connections out of nowhere. Forcing a switch to wireless. Even though the switch and the rest of the network was fine.
     
  2. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #2
    It is odd that there are 3 monitors hook to a media and remote access server. Step 1. would be unplugging at least 2 of those and see if the sleep/wake cycle works better. Next iteration on that is to check with a different brand of monitor in the one monitor set up configuration ( if one is handy).

    [ some remote viewers don't interact well with multiple monitor set ups. An odd interaction between remote (only one ) , sleep , and then waking with 3 might put things into a funky corner case state. ]


    Screens turn off is really asleep. Another thing to try is to just turn the monitors off. If have some sleep state synchronization problem between computer and the monitors then that could be the core issue.


    The second in part doesn't really make it a clean install. If run the test with no software installed and it exits sleep with not symptoms, but the symptoms reappear after you install the 3rd party software then ........ it isn't really the Mac Pro that is the problem.

    Software which is seen zero updates for 1-3 iterations of macOS updates I'd install last. Those are probably some of the best candidates to have a OS mismatch. All the more so if they make mods/extensions to the video driver stack.


    For example.....


    If there is any software associated with this monitors. Those too should be on suspect list.

    Why are there any TB2 adaptors at all? Just straight DP cables. mini-DP connector to full size connector DP cables have nothing to do with TB2.
     
  3. velocityg4 thread starter macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
    It is also used for normal desktop use. These same monitors were used on the old Mac Pro. I'll give it a shot the next time I'm There.

    That might work. My client won't be satisfied with a workaround. Only a 100% fix. Although that would not explain the other system anomalies. There must be a root cause.

    I'll try removing USB devices first. Then one program at a time. The next time I'm there.



    They are just regular mDP to DP cables. They are just advertised as compatible with the Thunderbolt 2 port. I just wanted to illustrate that they are specifically rated as TB2 compatible. No monitor specific software is installed.
     
  4. velocityg4 thread starter macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    I would now add to the list of problems.
    - Sudden complete lockups while working. Nothing can be clicked. Force Quit, Logout, &c keyboard shortcuts don't work. If a screen is unplugged and plugged back in. It will turn blank and stay blank until rebooted. Even Console is locked. So, there are no logs generated while the computer is frozen.
    - Sudden shutdown during use.
    - Sometimes when logging in after screen sleep. All files are missing from Finder. If I look at the shared folders from another computer over the network. Everything is there. But Finder shows the folders as empty or with just a couple of files. Everything shows back up after a restart.
    - Any selected picture (apple defaults) or color for the desktop background disappears after restart. It is replaced by a black desktop. This only happens on the main monitor. The other two keep their backgrounds.
     
  5. Daniel Reed macrumors 6502

    Daniel Reed

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #5
    Wipe and rebuild on Sierra 10.12.6

    Typically the last interaction of 10.x is what works best for content builders.

    Running a nMP/12c/D700 in my edit bay on 10.12.6 w/out issue with all major applications w/ 4/6/8K sources.

    Make sure to run SMCfancontrol to boost the fan to 2,000 RPMs during heavy lifting so the tube doesn't cook and throttle down. The default fan stays at 900rpms (never seen it spin up even when reaching 150 degrees F - the cpu throttles down instead of the fans spinning up). If you're good w/ hardware then replace the poor quality thermal paste Apple (and Dell) use. Artic Silver applications alone can decrease temps by as much as 10 degrees F under heavy loads. If you wanna get crazy (like me), put the nMP in a cradle to lay it sideways, then put a fan in the front and back to force even more air through. Going even crazier, run a ductwork tube from a AC register and point/attach it to the fan placed/pointed behind the "bottom" for serious boosts in performance! Full core 99% usage of all threads for sustained periods won't loose turbo boost!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2017 ---
    If the same issues under 10.12.6 are present as described In the OP and suplemental updates... defective/cooked video cards may be the problem. New/Used? If 10.12.6 and smcfancontrol don't correct the issues, and in exchange period, then return.
     
  6. Hodar1 macrumors member

    Hodar1

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Location:
    In the middle of the Rocky Mountains, for now.
    #6
    Double Check the Anker USB3.0 Hub power supply.
    Ensure that it's firmly plugged into the AC power, and that the AC power is firmly connected. I have experienced similar intermittent issues with USB Hubs, that were due to the secondary USB Power Supply being "flakey". This can create havoc internally. Not saying that this is the smoking gun - but it's a good hardware check point.
     
  7. JayKay514 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    #7
    I am going to say this sounds like a hardware problem.

    The display issue *might* be a mismatch between DisplayPort modes (anecdotally, DP 1.2 and 1.4 have issues talking to each other; if the monitors can be set to force DP 1.2 via their menus, try that).

    As for the rest, I would try this:

    - Run the Apple Diagnostics test to determine if there are issues with the hardware. Usually this will identify any issues with the logic board and main memory.

    If it identifies a memory issue, use a process of elimination - remove DIMMs one-by-one and note if the problems reoccur.

    If it identifies an issue with the onboard SSD, try booting from an external volume.

    Anything else, take it back to your local Apple Store or where you bought it from, as it should still be under warranty - there's nothing else you can do unless you're a certified repair technician + have access to tools and parts etc.
     
  8. pl1984 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #8
    Apple has a repair extension program in place for the Mac Pro 6,1 video cards. It's likely you are affected by the problem. I'd suggest checking with Apple to see if your model is affected and, if so, taking it in to have it repaired.
     
  9. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    #9
    Make sure you're on a clean install of 10.12.6, it's the best OS version for the nMP.

    Check Console.app for any GPU hangs/restarts or MCA errors. If found, you might have faulty GPU's (it's common for this computer)- Apple will replace them for free until 2018. Give that a shot.
     

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